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How to remove mold stains?

by Joslyn

There are 5 steps that can be followed to remove mold stains:

  1. First take the item outside, so as not to spread mold spores indoors, and brush as much of the mold off as you can.
  2. Allow the item to dry in the sun for awhile, as direct sunlight can often kill many different types of mold spores.
  3. After plenty of sunlight has been distributed evenly over the item, presoak it in cold water possibly with a bleach solution, color safe if it has colors in it, and then machine wash it with warm water and detergent.
  4. Lemon juice and salt in cold water has also been used with colored fabrics, as well as a vinegar solution to aid in smell removal.
  5. Hang the item in the sun again to dry.

Unfortunately, mold does leave stains but by using the previous solution and washing materials in this manner, you have rid the items of mold and most likely the musty smell as well, however removing mold stains is an entirely different matter.

Note Also:

Here are a couple of ideas that I haven’t prove my self, but that may be worth trying.

  • X-14 Mildew Stain Remover with Bleach will often remove the stains.
  • Try mixing 2 cap fulls of Milton baby sterilizing fluid with 3-4 liters of water and soak the item over night.

Further Recommended Reading:


Joslyn from the MoldBlogger team

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Louann brothman January 7, 2010 - 5:20 pm

I purchased a hand dyed scarf from India and it smells of mildew please help

April Parker September 8, 2010 - 7:28 pm

I manage a Drycleaners and was shocked to find that at all the different ones I have worked at. The one thing that gets everyone is mold. Blood…No problem,Food…No problem,Wine…No problem,but Mold…No one has the answers for. Thank you for you idea’s and I am going to try these things out to help my customers get ride of there problem.

jodie October 17, 2011 - 11:46 pm

i purchased a wedding dress on ebay and when i recieved it it had like bits of mould on it i have taken it to the wedding dress drycleaners but they are still there but much lighter dose anyone have another solution?

How to Remove a Stain November 13, 2011 - 10:16 am

Mold stains are easy to remove not like what most people think. Thanks for you tips!

Anita June 22, 2012 - 4:50 pm

How do you get mildew stains out of a swim suit?

kelly January 5, 2013 - 6:21 pm

I have a bassinet that has a mold stain,the cotton liner does not come off. How do I clean the mold while it is in bassinet.

Patti Wininger October 22, 2015 - 1:41 am

I have used “Clorox Clean-up” on many items! I run a clothing program, and we get lots of donations! I sort through all the clothing. I have found, even with a wedding gown, and many colored items, a little spray of clorox clean-up, and sit for a few moments, and gone! Works great on my outdoor Patio Umbrella (Multicolored)!

Ky November 20, 2015 - 7:29 am

I have mold stains in a pair of basketball shorts, and really need it out. How do I get it out!?!?!?

Missy k h December 29, 2020 - 4:36 pm

A solution of lemon juice and salt in very cold water to soak item in overnight then hang in sunlight to dry. Then launder as usual. Or try using vinegar and cold cold water followed by hanging in sun …. But remember mold spores are being released into the air inside that you breathe so do this outside if possible

krystle December 30, 2020 - 3:39 pm

Thank you for sharing the solution of lemon juice and salt plus vinegar and hang in the sun for removing mold stains! Is lemon juice safe to use in this way for any fabrics?

Desiree May 17, 2021 - 1:48 am

My husband put wet shorts in the hamper on top of my very very light colored jeans i had only got to wear one time so far so i am desperate in trying to get it out. I purchased white vinegar and washed them with a cup of it and then pretreated with my usual mix of dawn soap and All or Tide laundry soap with water in a spray bottle but no luck. I haven’t dried them any ideas?!


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